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Agency Cost Centers

Effective: 06/11/12 Approved By: Sr. Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs and Deputy CFO
Revised: 02/27/18
For Assistance Contact: Accounting Services


To provide guidance for the establishment and administration of Agency Cost Centers for funds held by the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) as custodian or fiscal agent on behalf of faculty/staff/student organizations, internal service contractors, and other non−UTSA entities.


National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Advisory Report 1999-5; Accounting and Reporting for Student Clubs and Groups

NACUBO Financial Accounting and Reporting Manual 354.6 — Agency Funds

University Guidelines

Table of Contents
  1. Overview
  2. Types of Agency Cost Centers
  3. Cost Center Establishment
  4. Cost Center Administration

A. Overview

Agency Cost Centers, such as the UTSA Alumni Association Cost Center, are funds held by UTSA as custodian or fiscal agent for non-UTSA entities, and as such they are not UTSA funds nor do they represent tax-deductible charitable contributions to UTSA. For example, gifts to the UTSA Alumni Association are not gifts to UTSA and expenses in the association Cost Center are not UTSA expenses. Agency Cost Center funds do not earn interest. Agency Cost Center revenue and expenses are not reported in UTSA's Annual Financial Report (AFR).

At year-end, funds remaining are recorded as a liability in the AFR. Activities for which funds are accepted for deposit must be closely associated with or related to UTSA activities and they must directly or indirectly provide services or benefits to UTSA students, staff or faculty.

B. Types of Agency Cost Centers

Agency Cost Centers may be established for:

  1. Registered student organizations and activities — such as student clubs, residence hall associations and workshops sponsored by student organizations. For more information on registration requirements and establishment of Agency Cost Centers for student organizations, see the StuOrgHdbk.utsa.
  2. Faculty/staff organizations - such as professional or scientific organizations for which faculty or staff are officers; and conferences, workshops and special events sponsored by UTSA faculty/staff. The UTSA faculty or staff must have a significant role in the association, conference, or event.
    NOTE: Activities that are officially sponsored by UTSA are excluded.
  3. Funds due to external entities - such as insurance premiums and retirement. Funds deducted by Payroll Services that are due to an external entity and held temporarily by UTSA until payment is made on a routine basis. Agency Cost Centers may also be established to hold funds temporarily for loan payments prior to payment to the lending organization.
  4. Internal service contractors - includes but is not limited to bookstore and food service contractors. These Cost Centers provide a means for the internal service contractor to charge and be billed for UTSA services. Examples of such charges include telephone services and repairs/maintenance performed by UTSA personnel. These charges should be paid within 60 days by the internal service contractor and are monitored by Financial Services.
  5. Third-party funds for the benefit of students who are selected by the third-party entity -  such as an external scholarship fund that provides scholarships to UTSA students. These funds do not represent UTSA revenue or expense because the scholarship recipients are not selected by UTSA.

C. Cost Center Establishment

Although registered student organizations must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), assignment of Agency Cost Centers for faculty and staff organizations does not require an EIN, nor does it require or confer 501(c)(3) status.

NOTE: UTSA cannot give tax advice and does not prepare tax filings for student organizations. Assignment of an Agency Cost Center does not infer tax consequences of deposits, expenses, or any other activity related to the Agency Cost Center.

To establish an Agency Cost Center, download and complete the Chart of Accounts (COA) Maintenance Request Form and submit it to Accounting Services ( with the required approvals and documentation. The following approvals are required to establish Agency Cost Centers:

Type of Agency Cost Center Required Vice President (VP) Approval
Student organizations/activities VP Student Affairs or delegate
Faculty organizations/activities VP Academic Affairs or delegate
Staff organizations/activities VP Business Affairs or delegate
Internal service contractors VP Business Affairs or delegate


For more information on requesting new Cost Centers, see the UTSA fmog.0302.utsa.

D. Cost Center Administration

UTSA does not exercise direct fiscal control over the use of Agency Cost Center funds. The Agency Cost Center Department Manager must ensure compliance with all applicable policies and procedures, and federal, state and local laws and regulations. The Department Manager is responsible for the administration of the Cost Center, including approving transactions, monitoring and tracking Cost Center activity and balances, and contacting Accounting Services regarding changes to the Cost Center.

The Department Manager is also responsible for reviewing any balance in the Cost Center at the end of each fiscal year and ensuring that the balance does not remain open indefinitely. If the balance from a conference or other event is to be returned at the completion of the activity, the Department Manager must complete the required paperwork, submit a voucher for payment, and close the Cost Center. For more information on closing a Cost Center, see fmog.0302.utsa.

Disbursements and Travel Services will issue UTSA checks against an Agency Cost Center based on approved voucher submittal with proper documentation and approvals. Salaries may be paid from an Agency Cost Center on an exception basis.

Agency Cost Centers should have a positive balance at all times. Should a deficit occur, the Department Manager is responsible for covering the deficit. Payments cannot be approved for a Cost Center with insufficient funds.

Official UTSA (non-agency) funds cannot be deposited or transferred into an Agency Cost Center, and Agency Cost Center funds and costs cannot be transferred to official UTSA Cost Centers. If an official UTSA Cost Center is used to subsidize an event, the expenses related to the subsidy must be charged directly to the UTSA Cost Center and the benefit to UTSA must be shown in the documentation. Agency Cost Centers cannot be used for research grants or contracts.

In addition to these requirements, student organization Agency Cost Centers are also subject to the guidelines set out in the StuOrgHdbk.utsa.

An Agency Cost Center with no activity for three consecutive semesters (student organizations) or more than 13 months (all other Agency Cost Centers) will be inactivated. Prior to inactivation, balances in student organization Agency Cost Centers will be closed into the UTSA Student Activities Cost Center (AG0142) and balances in all other Agency Cost Centers will be closed into the UTSA Miscellaneous Income Cost Center (DZX060).

Related Forms

  1. Chart of Accounts Maintenance Request Form
  2. Chart of Accounts Maintenance Request Form Instructions

Revision History

Date Description
02/21/17 Updated for consistency with Financial Affairs Customer Services standards.
01/03/17 Updated for consistency with Financial Affairs Customer Services standards.